The young people are involved in many aspects of the day-to-day running of the school. The following is an indicative list of the kinds of things they are involved with.
We have a plethora of wildlife on our 13 acre woodland, and a healthy population of newts, bats and dormice (all indicators of a strong ecosystem). The young people help nurture this biodiversity, under the guidance of a trained ecologist. We have also begun to keep bees and ducks which the young people take care of.
Our 1 acre walled garden is certified organic by the Soil Association. We have started cultivating mushrooms and broad beans, and have put up a polytunnel. We will be growing commercially, possibly focusing on organic edible flowers (targeted at event caterers and restaurants), and organic berries for smoothies. The young people are involved with every aspect of this, from preparing the business case to wheelbarrowing compost.
Building and maintenance
The young people help with the building and maintenance – learning to mend fences, build shelves, paint walls, fix locks, oil gates, clear paths and clean out gutters. They’ve laid down the floor for the wood workshop – mixing concrete, laying bricks, putting down floor joists and joist hangers, and cutting and fitting the insulation.
Students sell their produce, and their art work, through multiple distribution channels – farmers markets, retail outlets, and online.
The young people maintain the health of our mixed woodland through a mixture of coppicing, removing non-native species and planting new trees.
The young people take care of their environment: they organise the waste collection and recycling, set up and manage the composting system , mop floors and clean toilets, lay tables, serve and clean up after each meal.
When we have guests staying overnight the young people prepare their rooms (including decorating them beautifully), wait on the guests, cook, serve and wash up.
The young people help prepare meals under the guidance of our chef. They also prepare food for sale, for instance nut-free granola.
The young people manage our Instagram account, maintain and update the website, answer phone calls and give tours to visitors.